Sweet, Sweet Breakfast

Sweet, Sweet Breakfast by Erin Waugh

Me: “What do you want for breakfast?”

My father: “What do you have?”

We’ve got breakfast figured out. Swallowing has become a serious challenge for my father. And it turns out that swallowing is one of the more pleasant ways to get food inside you. (There are others, but they are fetish-y and gross unless you’re into that.) Science has proven that if you don’t eat some calories, you will die from malnutrition, if you don’t first kill yourself because your daughter won’t stop talking.  

Me: “We have pancakes, French toast, eggs…”

GC: “How about soup?”                                                                                                 

Me: “Of course we have soup, but I was kind of saving that for supper. So, do you want pancakes, eggs, or French toast?”

GC: “Cream of Wheat.” 

My father only eats two meals a day: Second Breakfast and O.P. Supper. First Breakfast is a symphony of meds delivered orally (there is a god) in pill form, handi-haler, and liquid. This pharmacopeia is followed by rinsing out the mouth and spitting into a bucket. Him, too.

 Me: “Do you want that with heavy cream and brown sugar, or butter and maple syrup?”

The initial hospice nurse who came to our house to teach us how to live under the yawning awning of hospice regaled us with her well-rehearsed advices. “Sleep well, drink water, stay off the hookers.” When she got to the diet part, she added, “And you should restrict yourself to…” Then she looked at him. Really LOOKED at him. I don’t know what he weighed in the Before Time, but now he was about 42 pounds. He was tiny as a Lollypop Kid. He was barely a lollypop. “You can eat anything you want.”

Me: “What do you want for breakfast?”

Gernard: “Got any cream?”

Me: “Shall I drench something with it?”

Bingo. Substitute maple syrup where applicable. The hookers love it.


From “This Gernard” by Erin Waugh, 31 January 2020